It’s somewhat surprising to see the term “best entry smoker” keeps popping up in your search history recently. We mean, summer is in town, bringing with it the instant associations of nightless parties, huge pool feastings, and arbitrary road trips that you never missed out on, even one.
But now, whether it is the ubiquitous impact of coronavirus, your mother’s words, or simply your choice, you have decided to check your attendance at family gatherings, which is a good sign.
And trust us, you’ll want to wrap your mind around how to handle the barbecue smoker, so that your cousins will be blown away by your resourcefulness, and your mother won’t ever rant with her sisters that “Boys will always be boys.”
Now, grab your notebook, and go all the way from the basics.
Finding Your Best Entry Level Smoker
#1. Masterbuilt Digital Electric Smoker: Best for beginners
Just like how its name suggests, this Masterbuilt smoker might initially strike you as quite a lofty-built beast. But the sole fact that it’s lofty has not done the smoker enough justice without mentioning the beginner-friendly aspects.
First off, you’d be blown away with how easy the assembling is, even as a novice. Saying that you can use the smoker right out of the box is not even an understatement.
Next up, throughout the grilling process, you can save yourself the hassle of chopping wood chips into small pieces, opening the hot smoker door, and then inserting the chips. Simply by using the wood chip loading system, it’s all done in a blink.
Another feature that makes this smoker so incredibly favored by beginners is that it has the thermostat control, which allows you to adjust the temperature and time to be consistent and most perfect for your taste, only with a button. Isn’t it lovely?
Moreover, the big size allows for more generous capacity, making it extremely suitable for huge feasting parties whereby you can grill food on four different levels.
However, make sure that you have run through the user manual carefully before diving in because some smokers can involve major faults in the insulation system.
Verdict: To reiterate, if you’re a complete novice who is looking for a robust and no-hassle smoker, look nowhere else, this is it.
#2. Char-Broil Infrared Smoker & Grill: Best versatility
Mindful that you’re quite overwhelmed with the last Masterbuilt smoker, we now proudly present you this streamline Char-Broil smoker/ grill.
The best thing about this Char-Broil buddy, we believe, is its outstanding versatility. We mean, whatever cooking process you’re aiming at, say, smoking, roasting or grilling, this buddy’s got you covered. Even well covered.
The TRU-Infrared technology can prove our last point. It allows the smoker to spread the temperature to the food all over an increased surface area, from the bottom to the top, left to right. Moreover, food can’t slide down the grates. And then, before you treat yourself to the feast, you’ll feast your eyes on the juicy, evenly grilled results already.
One side tip here for you, this Char-Broil can be used alongside with a smoker box to boost the smoky flavors of the dish.
Last but not least, its comparative space can fit up to a 21 lb turkey. Quite a competitive candidate with the previous one, isn’t it?
Verdict: If you are a big fan of family gatherings and barbecue parties, don’t hesitate to seize this smoker right away. It’ll serve you well with different purposes without getting you bored with the bland foods.
#3. Bradley Electric BTDS76P Smoker: Best value
Struck at a price nearly double the Char-Broil, you are wondering what is it that makes this Bradley so highly valued, aren’t you?
It actually stands to reason. Bradley has always been known as a world-class brand whose products are geared towards perfection, reliability, and durability. This product is no exception. It’s constructed with the powder epoxy steel on the outside and nicely polished with stainless steel for the interior, which is very easy to clean up.
We mean, certainly, no one likes to tackle the after-party. But when compared to other counterparts that involve such painstaking wiping on the bucket, grease trap, and things like that, Bradley undoubtedly overshadows them all with its easily removable parts. It’s like a mess-free cleanup. You’ll see.
Also, this product can totally keep up with your party duration, say, 8 hours? As if. Keep your smoker controlled and it’ll function well enough all day. Yes, you read it right.
Speaking on the long-term level, if maintained properly, the smoker can last up to a decade. Does that excite you yet?
Verdict: Seriously, this is worth money. If you have some money to splurge, go straight to this Bradley buddy and see everything we just said for yourself.
#4. Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker: Best budget
Another smoker from Char-Broil, but this one has a more simplified design and is smaller-built. Thus, it’s also much affordable for someone who’s on a budget.
To be honest, this Char-Broil smoker is nowhere near as competitive as the Bradley equivalent, yet gives you a decent impressive performance.
With a 544-square-inch of working space, in combination with a large wood chip box that is constructed out of high-quality materials, you’ll find yourself enjoying the barbecue party atmosphere for hours on end. No need for a constant check-up on chips. How nice it is!
Apart from that, the smoker is also nicely secured with two handles and latches on the sides, allowing you to imagine yourself rotating a vault.
Provided at this lesser cost, the performance isn’t as outstanding in terms of smoking capability and flavoring. But for an occasional smoker, this can do just right.
Verdict: If you’re either not so fussy over barbecue quality, or you’re an occasional smoker, this one is not a bad idea.
#5. Char-Broil 16-inch Bullet Charcoal Smoker: Best look
If this is a competition of aesthetics, this bullet-looking charcoal smoker will undoubtedly be the grand beauty pageant. But even if it’s not a beauty contest, the Char-Broil bullet smoker still wins scores over its excellent ability to control the inner airflow.
This innovative technology works so outstandingly thanks to two factors, namely the long-lasting porcelain-coated steel body, and the simplified settings to maintain internal temperatures. There’s also a temperature gauge located just above the smoker lid, whereby you can keep track of what’s going on inside.
Plus, its side door space is ample enough to accommodate additional fuel, enabling you to maintain the desired constant temperature over a long period. It’s exactly how you have the distinctive charcoal-ish taste. Feel free to enjoy your friend’s/ family’s complements.
Verdict: If you value the smoker’s physical appearance and lasting durability above all, no other equivalents can beat this buddy, we believe.
What To Consider When Buying A Smoker For Beginners
Before making your buying decision, sketch out these headings:
Determining your budget
This will undoubtedly save you from buying impulses. After all, a smoker/ grill is just a cooking buddy, no need for splurging a ton on brands, models, or sizing. Unless you want a backyard ornament.
Going for a competent and durable smoker is just right.
Understanding fuel types
Bear in mind that many smokers emit smoke (obviously) that is disruptive to people with asthma. From that, decide which you’ll go for, either charcoal, gas, or whatnot.
What is your cooker buddy used for?
Whether it’s a multi-purpose smoker or a grill is also a matter for consideration. Think it over or you may have to buy another smoker for a single purpose.
How large your squad is
The size of your squad may affect the amount of food put in the smoker, and thus affect the size of the smoker that you’re intending to buy. So, make sure you have grasped it well on hand.
And that’s a wrap. We believe that with our concise buying guide on the best entry-level smoker, you have made your own decision.
Personally speaking, we’d prefer the Char-Broil TRU-Infrared smoker & grill as the top choice, for its multi-purpose application, high-quality materials, and great ability to smoke food without flare-ups.
Now, tell us what’s on your mind by commenting down below!